A resident of Newtown Square, Borrelli is a 1974 graduate of Upper Darby High School who studied commercial art at Marple Vo-Tech School. About 10 years ago, she started making the home-style holiday decorations that will be on sale today, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Cardinal O'Hara High School Band Parents Association Craft Fair.
"I thought I would be an artist, but my mother said, 'You better take some business courses,' " Borrelli said, explaining her path from future artist to associate publisher for JCK Magazine, a jewelry trade publication published in King of Prussia. "Ten or 11 years ago, my cousins said, 'Let's get together and do some crafts just for fun.' "
Starting with an informal crafting event in her home, Borrelli had launched a business within a year with her first local holiday craft show. After selling small items at the first show, Borrelli decided to try larger items and asked her husband, Mike Stern, to cut wood for her designs.
"He cut out four crows," Borrelli said, "and then he gave me a scroll saw and a sander for my birthday. At first, I was petrified of the scroll saw. Each time I made a cut, I was so tense. Now, working with the saw is very relaxing."
She put the saw to good use, creating a wide variety of outdoor and indoor decorative crafts such as a wooden heart sign that may ultimately bear the names of favorite grandparents and an outdoor Christmas sign with the head of Santa's favorite red-nosed friend.
For several years, the Media Business Authority has selected Borrelli's work for display at the Media Food Fest, according to Zubair Khan, authority executive director. Participating artists must meet a series of criteria, he said, including quality, unique design and public popularity.
"We don't invite everybody. We only pick crafters who are very talented, and her work is exceptional. Her work is very well-liked by the public. After the event, we get many calls from people who want to know where to buy her work."
In preparation for upcoming holiday craft shows, Borrelli had two rows of wooden Christmas trees in various sizes awaiting a trimming and partially assembled Santas arranged on her dining-room and breakfast tables. Holiday and door signs in various stages of completion were lined up in the basement. In a nearby storage room, supplies were stacked floor to ceiling in neat plastic containers.
Borrelli does a holiday open house at home for family and friends and often enlists her cousin Diane Legrai of Broomall to assist with the final decorating touches of each craft item.
Now on her third scroll saw, Borrelli uses a large tow trailer to take her crafts to the shows. She does outdoor and indoor shows beginning in the fall and ending just before Christmas. She also does one spring show.
During her off-season, the crafts are put away while she and her husband enjoy sailing their boat in the waters off Ocean City, N.J.
"When Christmas is over," Borrelli said, "I don't pick up a craft again until spring."
Send Arts news to suburban staff writer Gloria A. Hoffner, The Inquirer, 800 River Rd., Conshohocken, Pa, 19428; e-mail it to: PAarts@phillynews.com; or fax it to: 610-313-8227. Contact Gloria A. Hoffner at 610-313-8006 or email@example.com.
Favorite artist: Singer Norah Jones
Inspiration: The Christmas holidays
Goal: "Down the road, eventually, I would like to own a store on the boardwalk. Maybe when I retire."
If You Go:
Donna Borrelli's work will be on sale today at Cardinal O'Hara High School Band Parents Association Craft Show, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m at the school, 1701 S. Sproul Rd., Marple Township. For directions, call 610-544-3800, Ext. 39, or check the Web at www.cohs.com.
Borrelli's crafts will also be at St. Pius X School, 204 S. Lawrence Rd., Broomall, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 29 and at Holy Cross School, 240 N. Bishop Ave., Springfield, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 6.
Grange Estate Myrtle Ave & Warwick Rd, Havertown; 610-446-4958. Holiday tours of decorated mansion: Preview party. $10. 4-6 p.m. Sat. Reservation required. Tours. $5. 1-4 p.m. Sats-Suns 11/30-12/28. 18th-century home, gardens, woodlands of John Ross, American Revolution financier.
Special Bingo With food-basket raffle, refreshments. Prospect Park Fire Co, 10th & Lincoln Aves, Prospect Park; 610-522-1830. 7 p.m. Sat.
Craft Shows, Sales & Bazaars
Free admission unless noted.
The Home Sampler Harvest & Christmas show with holiday crafts, antiques, reproduction furniture, collectibles, candles, floral designs. 1892 Farmhouse, 8 Smithbridge Rd, Chester Heights; 610-358-9627. www.thehomesampler.com. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thus-Sats, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Suns, through 12/21.
Holiday Bazaar & Craft Show With artisans & vendors from entire region. Kaiserman JCC, 45 Haverford Rd, Wynnewood; 610-896-7770 ext 125. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. today.
Holiday Fine Craft Sale Handmade seasonal gifts. Main Line Art Center, Old Buck Rd & Lancaster Ave, Haverford; 610-525-0272. www.mainlineart.org. Ends today.
Holiday Arts & Crafts Boutique Seasonal gifts & decorations, over 80 vendors. Community Arts Center, 414 Plush Mill Rd, Wallingford; 610-566-1713. Donate unwrapped children's toys for patients of Children's Hospital of Phila. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun..
Craft Fair Woodwork, pottery, stained glass, jewelry, food. Congregation Beth Israel, Rte 352, Media; 610-874-8744. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun.
Greek Delicacies Place orders for baklava, fenekia, kourambiethes; benefits Daughters of Penelope National Charities. St George Greek Orthodox Church, 30 E Forge Rd, Media; 610-459-0366. Order by Mon.
Christmas Craft Show Crafts, games, chance table, Santa, food. St Pius X School, 204 S Lawrence Rd, Broomall; 610-353-3176. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.
Craft Fair Vendors wanted; Brookhaven Fire Co sponsors. Brookhaven Municipal Bldg, Cambridge Rd, Brookhaven; 610-872-2729. $25 for spaces/tables. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.
Chester Senior Center 721 Hayes St, Chester; 610-497-3550. New York shopping trip. $38. Sat.
Community Arts Center 414 Plush Mill Rd, Wallingford; 610-566-1713. www.communityartscenter.org. To Broadway show, Movin' Out. 12/10. To Broadway show, Gypsy. 2/25. Call for departure information, prices.
Delaware Valley Travel Group 610-892-1166. Radio City Music Hall for Christmas show. $149-$156. 12/7, 12/10, 12/14 & 12/20.
New York City To Radio City Music Hall for Christmas Spectacular; Lansdowne Recreation Dept sponsors. 610-284-1493. $150; $140 age 8 & younger. 12/7.
New York City To hit musical Hairspray; Hedgerow Theater sponsors. 610-565-4211. $190. Depart 11 a.m. 12/13.
New York City Transporation-only trip. Marple Free Public Library, Sproul & Springfield Rds, Broomall; 610-356-1510. $38. 8 a.m.-9 p.m. 12/6.
New Horizons Senior Center 206 Price Ave, Narberth; 610-664-2366. Mummers Extravaganza: Hardly Able String Band, Mummers Museum tour, buffet luncheon. $28. 12/4. To Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster for "Christmas in the Country." $48.50. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. 12/11.
St Bernadette Social Club Bond & Turner Aves, Drexel Hill; 610-789-8711. Casino trips. 12/8. Call for cost, time.
St James High School Alumni Association 610-566-1080. San Francisco trip: Notre Dame vs Stanford football game. Fri to 12/2. New York City for Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall. 12/17. Nashville Fan Fair. 6/9-17 2004. Call for departure information, prices.
St Kevin's Pioneers 610-461-6260. Ocean City, MD. $165. 12/9-10. San Antonio, TX. $1,175. 4/12-17 2004.
St Mary Magdalen Senior Explorers Sponsors trips to various destinations. 610-359-0931. Hilton Casino in Atlantic City. 12/12. Vanity Fair in Reading, PA. 12/3. Trans-Canada Rail Adventure. 5/9/04. Call for travel information, prices.
The Travel Club Lawrence Park Shopping Center, Lawrence Park; 610-356-0344. Radio City Christmas Show in New York City. 12/7. Call for departure information, prices.
Wayne Senior Center 108 Station Rd, Wayne; 610-688-6246. American Music Theatre in Lancaster for Christmas show. $62. 12/4.
West Chester Recreation 401 E Gay St, West Chester; 610-436-9010. New York City; self-guided. $45; $35 seniors. 12/10. Walt Disney on Ice, "Monsters, Inc." $30. 12/26.
Art League Penn Medicine at Radnor, 250 King of Prussia Rd, Radnor; 610-859-0765. Juried members' show, mixed media. Closes 1/24.
Barnes Foundation 300 N Latches Ln (2 blocks N of 54th St & City Ave), Merion; 610-667-0290. www.barnesfoundation.org. Work by Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Rousseau, Matisse, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, other impressionists & post-impressionists, African art & PA Dutch functional pieces. $5. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Fris-Suns. 400 people allowed entry per day. Reservations required: 610-667-0290 option 5.
Brandywine River Museum Rtes 1 & 100, Chadds Ford; 610-388-2700. www.brandywinemuseum.org. Annual "critter" sale: ornaments mades from all-natural materials. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sat-Sun Brandywine Christmas: O-gauge model railroad, Victorian dollhouse, critter ornaments on holiday trees. Opens Fri. Closes 1/11. Donald Pywell, gold jewelry inspired by Andrew Wyeth's art; plus Wyeth's paintings that inspired jewelry. Opens Fri. Closes 1/11. Art of the American West: 19th & 20th century paintings, sculptures. Closes Sun. NC Wyeth house & studio tours. $3 additional; ages 6 & over only. Timed intervals today-Sun. Holiday Shops: crafts, dolls, jewelry, other items made by area craftspeople. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sats-Suns to 11/30; 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sats-Suns 12/6-12/21. $6; $3 students, seniors; free ages under 6. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily.
Cabrini College Gorevin Fine Arts, 610 King of Prussia Rd, Radnor; 610-902-8380. Hyunsoo Han, paintings. Closes 12/7.
Darlington Arts Center 977 Shavertown Rd, Boothwyn; 610-358-3632. Karl Kuerner, qorograph prints with handpainted remarques. Closes 11/30.
Delaware County Community College Academic Bldg, Rte 252, Media; 610-359-5391. Open juried show, mixed media. Closes 12/12.
Gallery at Cedar Hollow 2447 Yellow Springs Rd, Malvern; 610-640-2787. Christmas & Hanukkah craft show. Closes 12/30.
Haverford College Sharpless, Magill Library, 370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford; 610-896-1161. Alcove Gallery: Student group show, lithographs, etchings, monotypes, silkscreenings. Closes 11/30. Show of work by novelists, photographers, filmmakers, painters, poets, philosophers, others. Closes 1/31.
Haverford College Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, 370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford; 610-896-1287. Francoise Andre, paintings. Closes 12/7.
*NEW* Main Line Art Center Old Buck Rd & Lancaster Ave, Haverford; 610-525-0272. Juried members' show, mixed media. Opening reception 5-7 p.m. Sat. Closes 1/3.
Salon des Amis 2321 Yellow Springs Rd, Malvern; 610-647-6010. Alice Hyvonen, paintings. Closes 1/1.
Swarthmore Borough Hall 121 Park Ave, Swarthmore; 610-328-0510. Wendilee Heath O'Brien, mixed media. Closes 12/6.
Swarthmore College List Gallery, Lang Performing Arts Center, 500 College Ave, Swarthmore; 610-328-8000. Perky Edgerton, paintings. Closes 12/14.
Tyme 17 W Eagle Rd, Havertown; 610-853-1215. www.tymegallery.com. Wallingford Community Art Center pottery show. Closes 12/27. J Kadir Cannon, assemblages; Alice Dustin, paintings. Closes 12/9. Joseph Finisdore, sculptures. Permanent. Joseph Finisdore, sculptures. Permanent.
Villanova University Connelly Center, Rte 30 & Ithan Ave, Villanova; 610-519-4612. Stuart Feldman, sculptures. Closes 12/11.
Wayne Art Center 413 Maplewood Ave, Wayne; 610-688-3553. www.wayneart.com.
Widener University University Center, 14th & Chestnut Sts, Chester; 610-499-1189. American Color Print Society, mixed media prints. Closes 12/6.
Wayne Oratorio Society Handel's Messiah. Wayne Presbyterian Church, 125 E Lancaster Ave, Wayne; 610-688-8700. $15: $10 seniors, students. 7:30 p.m. 12/6-12/7.
YMCA Family Music Festival With Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble, area performers; plus vendors, games, food. YMCA, 2110 Garrett Rd, Lansdowne; 610-259-1661. $20 family. 3-4:30 p.m. 11/30.
*NEW* A Christmas Carol Based on Dickens novel. Hedgerow Theatre, 64 Rose Valley Rd, Rose Valley; 610-565-4211. $19 & $22; $17 & $20 seniors; $10 students. Thus-Suns (added shows 12/16-17, 12/23-24, 12/30) Opens today. Closes 12/31.
*NEW* Peter Pan Musical. Media Theater for the Performing Arts, State & Monroe Sts, Media; 610-566-4020. $35; $32.20 seniors, $22 ages under 13. Weds-Suns (added show 12/23). Opens 12/3. Closes 12/28.
*NEW* The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Comedy. The Performing Arts Youth Theatre, ET Richardson Middle School, Rte 420, Springfield, Delaware Co; 610-566-2992. $7. Thu-Sun. Opens 12/4. Closes 12/7.
*NEW* Tiny Tim's Christmas Musical. Hedgerow Theatre, 64 Rose Valley Rd, Rose Valley; 610-565-4211. $8. Sats. Closes 12/27.
*NEW* Don Juan Comedy; Villanova Theatre presents. Villanova University, Vasey Hall, Lancaster & Ithan Aves, Villanova; 610-519-7474. $18-$22; $16-$20 seniors; $5 students. Closes today.
Auditions & Rehearsals
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra 28 N Lansdowne Ave, Suite 1, Lansdowne; 610-284-3719. www.lansdowneso.org. Ongoing auditions. Call for appt.
Main Line Ecumenical Choir St Thomas of Villanova Parish, Lancaster Ave, Rosemont; 610-356-9368. Messiah (12/13), no auditions needed. Rehearsals 2-4 p.m. 11/29, 12/6.
The Delaware County Concert Band Christ Presbyterian Church, State Rd & Fosse Ave, Drexel Hill; 610-543-3646. New members needed: all ages. 8 p.m. Tues.
The Masterworks Chorale St James United Church of Christ, 135 Myrtle Ave, Havertown; 215-884-0701. www.masterworks25.com. All voice parts needed. Rehearsals 7:30-9:45 p.m. Tues.
The Rose Tree Pops Orchestra Springton Lake Middle School, 1900 N Providence Rd, Media; 610-459-2312. Ongoing auditions, needed: all instruments, strings especially. 7:30 p.m. Tues. Call for appt.
Tyler Arboretum 515 Painter Rd (4 miles W of Media), Middletown Twp; 610-566-9134. www.tylerarboretum.org. Wildflower walks. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Weds & 1-3 p.m. Suns. Bird walks. . 8:15-10:15 a.m. Weds. Night Hike; adults only. Pre-registration required. Bring flashlight & hiking shoes. $8. 12/6. Weekend Gardener: Winter Highlights Walk. Pre-registration required. $6. 1-2:30 p.m. 12/6. History Ramble; hike & learn Tyler's history with guide. Free. 1-5 p.m. 12/28. 125 acres of special plant collections, gardens, historic trees & a maze; 450 acres of marked hiking trails. $5; $3 ages 3-15, free under 3. 9 a.m.-dusk daily.
For Kids & Teens
Baby-Sitting 2-day programs for baby-sitters ages 11 & up on childcare, handling emergencies, first aid. Delaware County Memorial Hospital, 501 N Lansdowne Ave, Drexel Hill; 610-284-8158. Various times, days. Call for schedule, fees.
Barnes & Noble 720 Lancaster Ave, Bryn Mawr; 610-520-0355. Storytimes; all ages. 11 a.m. Mons & Weds.
Borders 80 E Wynnewood Ave, Wynnewood; 610-642-0362. Storytime; all ages. 11 a.m. Fris.
Letters About Literature National reading & writing program with prizes for essays; various levels grades 4-12. Haverford Twp Free Library, 1601 Darby Rd, Havertown; 610-446-3082. Deadline 12/6.
Middletown Twp Recreation Dept Children's programs. Middletown Community Center, 2140 Trenton Rd, Levittown; 215-750-3890. www.middletowntwpbucks.org. Youth Karate, ongoing classes. Various times, days, age groups. Teen Task Force: skating, rock climbing, refreshments. 2d Fri of month. Call for times & fees. Registration required.
Tyler Arboretum 515 Painter Rd, Media; 610-566-9134. Natural Critter Ornaments; ages 8 & up. $10. 10-11:30 a.m. Sat. Teeny Tiny Trackers: The Colors of Winter; 3-year-olds. 10-11 a.m. 12/8 or 12/9.
Area Library Programs
Events free unless noted.
Pre-registration required for most programs.
Dial-A-Story Delaware County Library System offers call-in story for young children; changes weekly. 610-891-8625. Available 24 hrs per day, 7 days per week.
Prospect Park Library Maryland Ave, Prospect Park; 610-532-4643. Storytimes; all ages. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Tues, 11:15-noon & 6:30-7:30 Thus.